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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Tables: table C - procedures to be followed when considering an application to authorise mineral oil and gases to be brought ashore by pipeline

  1. Initial consideration of approval application 

The application should provide the essential details needed for full consideration of the impact on official resources, and be accompanied by a line drawing (or map) of the whole length of the pipeline.

The intended dates for laying the pipeline, pressure-testing it and initially flushing it should be indicated as soon as known, together with the date that oil (or gas) is expected to flow.

As the Commissioners’ formal approval will be issued to the operator of the finished pipeline, that operator should be named in the application.

(Note: the operator may be one legal person in a consortium of persons with a financial interest in the pipeline).

Other details to be provided are:

  • The name by which the pipeline will be known;
  • The length of the pipeline and its diameter
  • The longitude and latitude at which the pipeline enters UK territorial waters;
  • The point of the coast at which the pipeline will come ashore; and
  • The name (if in different ownership than the pipeline operator) and address of the on-shore site marking the end of the pipeline, and the designation of the boundary valve.

The application should be made locally direct to the CRM when LB traders are involved.

For further information on Pipeline Authorisation and Approvals see IMEXPG ‘Pipelines’.

  1. Acknowledgement of receipt

Receipt of the application must be acknowledged by letter; if the application is incomplete that letter should ask for the further detail to be supplied as soon as it is known.

  1. Issue of approval

Formal approval of an import pipeline should not be issued until the testing phase of construction has been completed. Subject to HMRC being satisfied that the pipeline-operation presents no unnecessary risks to official staff, nor to revenue-protection, and statistical reporting requirements will be met, a letter of approval should be issued to take effect just prior to the commissioning of the pipeline.

  1. Content of approval letter

No letter of approval for pipelines format exists, but guidance is given in IMEXPG ‘Pipelines’.

  1. Conditions relating to the import declaration

(a) On the first day of each month an import declaration is to be made in triplicate and in a form agreed with the local officer of HM Revenue and Customs, of the Tariff description and quantity of natural gas/oil expected to be imported through and delivered from the approved pipeline during the month.

This import declaration will be for a period commencing from an agreed hour on the first day of the month and finishing at the same time on the first day of the following month.

The import declaration shall include:

(1) information giving the sea areas from which natural gas/oil will originate;

(2) contain a declaration for VAT purposes.

(b) At the end of each month a declaration of the actual quantity of natural gas/oil imported through and delivered from the approved pipeline during the month from each field.  


(c) The import declaration at (a) above, supported by the monthly declaration at (b) above, when signed and dated by the importer or a person duly authorised by the importer, shall be deemed for the purposes of Section 37 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, to constitute a Customs import declaration of the gas/oil for home use.